“Can Biotech Food Cure World Hunger?”

Victoria Henson-Apollonio, the CAS-IP manager, sent me this link:


For those of us who are involved in food security, this is extremely stimulating because a number of experts present their viewpoints on the question.  Here is a sampling:

Paul Collier: The debate over genetically modified crops and food has been contaminated by political and aesthetic prejudices: hostility to U.S. corporations, fear of big science and romanticism about local, organic production.

Vandana Shiva: Food security over the next two decades will have to be built on ecological security and climate resilience. We need the real green revolution, not a second “Green Revolution” based on genetic engineering.

Raj Patel: The U.S. leads the world in genetically modified agricultural technology, yet one in eight Americans is hungry. Last year, with bumper harvests, more than a billion people ate less than 1,900 calories per day. The cause of hunger today isn’t a shortage of food — it’s poverty.

Whatever we think about biotechnology, this NYTimes blog makes an even-handed effort to present a number of expert opinions in some depth.  One thing is for sure – everyone has strong views on the subject!

The CGIAR provides a perspective within the context of the Alliance mission at: http://www.cgiar.org/impact/agribiotech.html

This overview observes that:

As transgenics could offer important options for meeting food demand and environmental challenges, many scientists dedicated to reducing hunger and creating wealth among poor farmers consider such new technologies to be one part of the tool box of possible solutions.

Post written by Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP

Further to this post I was sent a link (thanks Keith!) “Food: is Monsanto the answer or the problem?” where Reuters have mapped out where GM crops are cultivated and made comparisons between GM and non-GM.  It provides useful snapshot of information for the context of this post.

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